I'm a lesbian but have feelings for my guy best friend

I’m a Lesbian but Have Feelings For My Guy Best Friend?

So i’m almost 100% certain i’m a lesbian but my guy best friend has been making me question it a bit i think he likes me but i’m not sure if i just feel romantic things or if it’s just platonic i cant see myself with a guy only with girls/nonbinary folk idk what to do

Hi

Thanks for your really great question! I don’t really have a direct answer for your question about what you can do, but I have some ideas and resources that you can work or play around with to help you. 

Almost 100%

The most basic but accurate thing for me to tell you is that it’s totally okay to have feeling for a guy and still be a lesbian. If you were to be in a romantic relationship with him you would not be the first lesbian to have a boyfriend and you certainly wouldn’t be the last. 

You are pretty certain that you are lesbian, almost 100% is a high number! But you didn’t just decide to be a lesbian one day. You were probably also not born a lesbian (even if it feels that way). Your sexuality is much more powerful and complex than this, which means that your feelings for one boy doesn’t necessarily change this. 

The Label

Let’s take the word lesbian. It’s a useful word for you because it helps you to explain your sexuality in a quick and easy way to people like me. It also helps you to navigate a homophobic world and connects you to other people who might help you to be you. 

The label 'Lesbian'

But it’s also not helping you to work out what to do about your best friend that you might have feelings for. If you end up dating him for a bit, or even snogging him, you might feel like you’ve chosen the wrong label. Or you might think ‘huh, I must have been wrong about being a lesbian because lesbians are only ever attracted to women.’ Both of these are wrong, you are a lesbian (almost 100% certain, which is high!). 

To help us we’re going to have to zoom in. 

Zooming in

You’ve probably had some very basic (maybe well meaning) people say ‘oh when did you decide to be a lesbian?’ or ‘when did you know you were a lesbian all along?’ If someone asked me these questions about me being a straight man I wouldn’t know how to answer them, and I bet it’s the same for you. They’re not useful questions. 

Instead, think of your sexuality as something which is constantly emerging and growing. As one bit of your sexuality emerged/es it affected other bits, which then affected other bits. It involves / has involved / will involve things like: your body, other bodies, phones, activists, things you eat or drink, rights, words, role models, pioneers, your sex ed, haircuts, dreams, supportive friends, moments, memories, arousal, tingling feelings, emotions, and relationships. How when one thing emerged did it affect, or flow, with the other things that emerged?

Try this!

Try this for yourself. I’ve done a totally made up example here giving you some general ideas of the kinds of things you might want to put in. The key to this is that it’s not just a series of things that make you be lesbian. Your being a lesbian is in relation to all of these things which are all in relation to each other. It’s a constantly moving and alive system (like a root system, or a rhizome). 

A lesbian assemblage or rhizome.  As one bit of your sexuality emerged/es it affected other bits, which then affected other bits. It involves / has involved / will involve things like: your body, other bodies, phones, activists, things you eat or drink, rights, words, role models, pioneers, your sex ed, haircuts, dreams, supportive friends, moments, memories, arousal, tingling feelings, emotions, and relationships.


So you might see that you didn’t just decide to call yourself a lesbian one day and then ‘wham’ you’re a lesbian. Just in exactly the same way that I didn’t decide one day to be straight. Our sexualities emerge in relation to lots of different things: bodies, people, ideas, dreams, feelings, politics, memories, objects. All of these things flow into each other and affect each other and how you feel about yourself. It’s an on-going process of things emerging. 

Which brings us to…

Your best friend

So if you decide to have a different kind of relationship with your best friend, sexual or more romantic, how much is this really going to change your complex root system? Maybe a little bit, maybe a bit, maybe not at all. If you were to go slow and just enjoy what emerged in your relationship with him, then you can see how this emerges for the rest of you. 

I really don’t think it’s going to make you ‘not a lesbian’. It’s also worth remembering that you were a lesbian before these feelings started to emerge. If he’s your best friend then you might well have told him that you’re a lesbian too. Would you have been able to be best friends if you were straight? Your relationship with him (even if you fancy him) has already been part of your emerging sexuality. 

So try to get beyond the idea of a thing simply causing another thing to happen. Things emerge. If you’re bored of that word, try ‘become ….’

Feelings for a Guy

Also don’t read to much into your feelings to someone who is ‘a man’. You like your best friend, not ‘a man’. Again, if you zoom in you will find lots of emerging aspects to him and what you are attracted to and what has emerged between you so far. If you’re attracted to (for example) his kindness, sense of humour, the way he makes you feel ‘you’, and the space he gives you, then these are things you can enjoy and see what emerges. Hashtag emerge. 

The problem for us is when we zoom back out again and try to label something that we know to be super complex. Society and the people around us can coerce us into doing this because we feel like we are being monitored all the time. We might also do this to ourselves. So try to stay zoomed in and pay attention to what really matters in your intimate life. By doing that you can nurture amazing relationships. Use the resources these give you to help others to do the same too. 

Other resources

Here’s an article called What Is Romance? which might help you to think about the differences between romantic friendships and romantic relationships (spoiler, there aren’t really any). You might also find my recent article about how to get a boyfriend / girlfriend / themfriend useful because it also talks about this idea of emergence.

Please leave a (nice) comment below if you like or ask me a question here.

© Justin Hancock, 2024 Find out more about me and BISH here.

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5 thoughts on “I’m a Lesbian but Have Feelings For My Guy Best Friend?

  1. dumbest shit i’ve ever read, lesbian = attracted to women only! if you date a man because you’re genuinely into him and not confused, you aren’t a lesbian!

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